American Garbage: The Meager Rise and Massive Fall of a No-Name Rock Band

All authors have books they want to write. I want to write more Gods of the Dark Web books. I’d also like to try my hand at some dystopian science fiction. Maybe even some sword and sorcery. The universe behind the Gods books has an infinite amount of untapped potential. Dystopian science fiction is a genre I grew up loving. Sword and sorcery is just fucking cool.

But beyond the stories we want to tell, there are other stories. Stories that keep us up at night. Stories that fuck with our mood. Stories that won’t fall silent until they’ve been committed to the page. Not stories we want to write but stories we need to write.

American Garbage is such a story.

There’s a lot you don’t know about me. I used to be in a band. It’s not something I really advertise because it was a long time ago, a different me. We are not who we were yesterday, let alone 15-20 years ago. Still, we are haunted by the ghosts of who we were, of who we loved, of who hurt us, of who we aspired to be.

You can grow and change, build a life far different than the one you envisioned, especially if you didn’t expect to live past thirty. Even so, your ghosts never really leave.

These past few months, while hamstrung by genre and talking things through friends J. David Osborne and Kelby Losack, I planned a book untethered by conventions and tropes, one populated simply by people as real to me as those who shaped me.

That book is American Garbage. And when I say “past few months,” I mean it. This is the most organic work of mine you’re apt to read. I wrote it over the course of a month (mostly on a Neo by Alphasmart), edited it with Kelby Losack (who also made that incredible cover), and placed an order through Bookmobile.

Yes, Bookmobile. No Amazon this time around. We bitch and bitch about their business practices and monopoly on the industry, but we still buy and publish through them without batting an eye. Not this time.

You can preorder the paperback of American Garbage directly through me. It’s limited to 200 copies. There are currently no plans to print more. In other words: once it’s gone, it will likely be gone indefinitely. There will, however, be an audiobook (narrated by Kelby, a true Renaissance man) available on Bandcamp in the very near future.

Why not Audible? See above. We can’t take the power back with lip service.

What’s it about? It’s about a twenty-something trying to hold his band of burnout musicians together, while battling his own mental illness and navigating his tumultuous intimate relationships during the early years of the War on Terror.

Is it a memoir? Not quite. Call it autofiction.

Is it horror? Let’s call it horror adjacent. Picture Stand By Me in the post-9/11 landscape and you’ll be somewhat close to the mark.

Will this be my publishing model going forward? That’s harder to answer. There are other people in the community I’d like to work with, as well as some preexisting projects and agreements that won’t work with this model. Also, this is an experiment.

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